The SPI Test & Other Written Tests for Job Hunting in Japan: Advice from an International Student
Choosing a Company
Q: How did you decide on the company where you’re going to work?
A: “I felt that manufacturing is a particular strength of Japanese industry, so I focused my job search on manufacturing companies. About 80% of sales at the company that hired me are overseas, and I made my decision because it seemed like I would have future opportunities to go overseas. 14 of the other workers hired in my year are also international students, so I think my company’s quite proactive about expanding overseas.”
What companies are especially welcoming to international students and women?
Q: Is there any company you recommend in particular?
A: “I really felt that IT companies were very open towards international students and women. If you’re still working on your job search and haven’t gotten an offer yet, I suggest looking into some IT companies.”
Best Job-Hunting and Other Sites
Q: Did you use any job-hunting sites?
A: “Yes, I used sites like OneCareer and Gaishi Shukatsu often, because they have a lot of rating information for good companies.”
Gaishi Shukatsu: https://gaishishukatsu.com/
Vorkers (Now Openwork) has reviews of companies.
I tried to mostly look at companies with a rating of 3 or above.
I used Goodfind as a community for practicing group discussions.
Kimusuka is a site for receiving scout mail (job offers), in a kind of reverse of the traditional job hunting site, but it places a lot of weight on aptitude tests. I think it’s good practice for personality tests.
I also used Minshu to compare types of tests, and to communicate with other students who’d gotten job offers.
I used Google Calendar to keep track of my schedule. You can get extremely busy when you’re job hunting, so I think it’s a really good idea to use an app like this.
Google Calendar: https://www.google.com/calendar/about/
A Message for Students Looking for Jobs in Japan!
Q: Please share some advice for other international students about to look for work in Japan!
A: “It’s important to put together the things you worked hardest on while you were a student as early as you can, I think. You’ll be asked about it on every single application sheet.
Depending on the company, the character length required of your answer may vary, so try preparing answers of different lengths.
“I heard at an event at my university’s career center that international students tend to start pretty late when it comes to job hunting. Japanese students begin preparing with things like internships over summer vacation, but many international students go home to their countries over the summer vacation, so they don’t get that extra information.
“In March, you may be busy, but you’ll be able to go to your university’s career center to practice interviewing early.
I think starting your preparation early is really important.
“When choosing a company, don’t just look at the salary: I think you really need to think about things you’d like to do.
“Friends who are also job hunting are also a big help. Job hunting isn’t a battle. If you don’t know something, ask your friends. There’s nothing to be ashamed about there!”
Does it feel a little reassuring to hear from another international student who found a job in Japan?
It’s also extremely important to research companies (and industries) in advance.
While you’re studying to prepare for the SPI test, make sure you join in on group information sessions to learn more about the companies. When you’re filling out your application sheet or doing an interview, you’ll absolutely be asked why you want to work at that company.
Plus, while you’re attending these group information sessions, you may hear about companies or industries you didn’t know about, and find something that suits you even better!
Good luck in your job search, from all of us here at Study Kyoto!